The Myth of Falling in Love

Two hearts in the snow

We see the look in their eye, and the smile on their face.  We know what they are going to say before they say it, “I’m falling in love.”  Our inner cynic rises up since this is the fifth time they have announced they are “falling in love” this year!  Sound familiar?  There are many myths out there, but the myth of falling in love is one of the biggest lies we believe today.

 Valentine’s Day just passed and the world was buzzing with Love.  I am a big fan of love and think that love really is the answer for people’s problems, but love is not something we “fall” into like a hole in the ground.  We act like love is a mysterious treasure we just happen upon by accident.  The reality of life is that relationships do not happen by accident.  Relationships grow because we take the time to invest in them.  When a couple invest in their marriage, they will see it grow.  When they don’t invest in their marriage, they will see it fall apart.  The same thing can be said with our children.  A loving relationship with our children doesn’t happen by accident.  It happens when we take the time to invest them. (For more on connecting with your child check Journey to the Center of Your Child http://davidthemaxwell.com/journey-center-child/#more-159 )

Growing in our relationships can happen, when we make the right choices.  However, too many of us make make the wrong choices because of the 3 P’s.

Perfectionism

  • Perfect relationships cannot happen with imperfect people, yet too many of us are striving to have a perfect relationship.  Holding ourselves up to an idealized perfect standard that we cannot meet only  discourages us so we stop trying.  We often idealize other people’s relationships, “They are such a perfect couple.”  Or we become a cynic of all relationships, “I bet they aren’t really that happy.”
  • Perfectionism robs us of good relationships by taking away our desire to work.  Relationships take work and the better relationships are those that people work on constantly.  Striving for perfection will only depress us, but striving for growth is something we can all do.

Procrastination

  • “Life will never slow down by itself!”  This is a truth that we must internalize.  Too many people plan to really work on their relationships when things slow down.  The problem is life does not slow down unless you intentionally slow life down.  You have to take the initiative and slow things down so you can invest in your relationships.
  • The initiators in relationships should be the husbands and the dads.  We were created as men to be the initiators, but we have allowed passivity to creep in and move us out of our roles.  Our wives want us to be the one who think relationally.  Our kids need us to seek them out relationally. Let us quit waiting for life to slow down and let’s go make something happen.

Pity

  • Relationships are hard and we will make many mistakes.  We can either move on from the mistakes or have a pity party and quit.  None of us is perfect, but if we quit trying there is a 100% chance of no relational growth.  Too many of us take the route that since we blew it, we can never be any good at relationships.
  • The reality of that feeling is based on fear.  We are afraid to try again so we stay in the pity zone so we can feel sorry for ourselves and justify not trying.  Imagine if we took that same approach as children when we were potty training?  We make a mistake so we quit trying to potty train and just resign ourselves to a life of diapers because, “We don’t deserve any better.”  That sounds silly because it is silly.  However too many of us live in pity and justify our fear of relationships.
Falling in love and falling out of love are common phrases we hear in our society today, but they are a myth.  Love is a choice that we make and relationships will grow if we work on them.  When we allow those truths to live within our heads, we will have the power to overcome the 3 P’s.